The Quarter horses fillies and mare are in training for farm work. They are all doing well long-lining and are moreorless ready to be hitched to the stoneboat (just need for them to have a few lessons in full harness and not with the surcingle alone).
As our round pen is iced up to the point of being dangerous, Drummond & I have started working them in the winter paddock. This is not something that I would advocate for someone working alone &/or lacking experience, as the other horses are free in the same paddock. However, we have found it quite rewarding to see that the filly that is working is keen to do the job and seems disinterested in the antics of the others while she is working.
Here are some photos from last Sunday's workout, each filly works for about 20 minutes each.
Amanda works Tyree, the reactive filly. Each session starts with some sort of reaction to the new addition, but she settles in very quickly. All fillies were broke last fall to a rubber snaffle and now work on the surcingle/harness with a large soft rubber straight bar bit.
Drummond prepares to work with Penny, the 8 yr old mare. Notice how keen the fillies are on-looking? When we work Penny they tend to walk with her as if being poneyed and have learned Gee & Haw in part from working alongside the old mare. Penny is also a very good teacher for Drummond, who is a novice teamster. The best characteristic that Drummond has as a teamster is the ability to stay calm in every situation. A few weeks back Penny was feeling her beans and joyfully jumped and reared at the outset, and he just calmed her dowm by talking to her and taking charge. A master teamster in the making folks!!! Who knows, maybe the IPM in 2010?
Here I am in the winter shelter with Rory. As you can see, we make the fillies stand around alot. I believe that unless a horse knows whoa & stand well, that they are not ready to move on with their training. The pole-barn structure of the shelter allows for me to weave the mares in and out of the poles and supple them up to the pressure required in their work under harness.